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Boehner 18, Us 17, John Boehner 15, California 12, Ho 8, Greece 8, Connecticut 8, Australia 7, America 7, Grover 6, France 5, Grover Norquist 5, Samsung 4, Nicole 4, Gethelp 4, Colorado 3, Clinton 3, Apple 3, Newtown 3, Obama 3,
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  FOX Business    Varney Company    News/Business.  
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    December 18, 2012
    9:20 - 11:00am EST  

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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ imus in the morning ♪ >> you won't believe how bad things are in greece, but believe this, they are getting
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their bailout money. it came through today. good morning, everyone, 50 billion dollars flowing into greece. it will never be repaid. new figures show the country in a deep depression. 11 million people owe a half trillion dollars. back home, speaker boehner and president obama are a little closer to a deal and both have given some ground on taxes and spending. the markets like it. right now john boehner is trying to sell it to his party. across the country, record gun sales over the weekend. "varney & company" about to begin. i always wait until the last minute. can i still ship a gift in time r christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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>> we have breaking news right now on the debate within the republican party about the fiscal cliff deal. rich edson has what, what is being discussed here, what is the latest, rich? >> a plan b on the fiscal cliff on taxes, stuart. this is coming from house speaker john boehner who is addressing republicans right now.
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we have a source in the room telling us that republicans will vote on a plan b in the house. likely this week. it will allow americans to avoid higher tax rates starting on january 1st. this deals with just the tax portion here on different rates. so, the threshold that republicans want is a million dollars. you wouldn't get a tax hike on your rates if you earned less than 1 million dollars annually. so that's a plan b that republicans vote on on the house. house speaker john boehner still wants a grand bargain with president obama. the two sides were drawing closer, last night their deal gave some discouragement to house speaker john boehner, so he's putting a second plan on the table and prefers president obama and they'll take it to-- >> it sounds like speaker boehner cannot sell the deal he's approaching with president obama to his own house members,
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so he's going to plan b the concentrate only on the tax side and put a vote before the house at some point maybe this week. is that roughly what's happening here? >> roughly, stuart. and also, what happens is this allows speaker boehner to go back to the president and say, look, as we're finishing the details of this proposal, between the two of us, just know that the house has voted on this plan, just in case our negotiations fell. becauss there are points where the two are apart. 200 in tax revenues apart and the president wants a debt ceiling authority and the republicans one year, and that's a major problem with republicans. and a lot of internal politics going on here as the house speaker makes this announcement. stuart: what's happening to the futures on the stock market. early this morning, when the two sides appeared to be edging close are together and a deal looked a little more likely, a bill deal, that would be, we had the futures pointing to a 40 or
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50% gain for the stock market. since the news that you just broke, we now see the dow industrials likely to open just what, 5 points higher. that's it. so, the markets is sort of saying, look, we wanted an overall deal. we're probably not going to get it in the near future so rich, they're saying we prefer a big deal, but we're only going to get a vote on taxes. that's it. that's it? >> well, i wouldn't entirely rule out that a big deal is possible. the speaker wants a big deal. this is a backup plan. it's nopt a great sign for negotiations, but still, aabig deal is possible. there is a plan b on the table now. stuart: rich edson, breaking news indeed. we'll have the opening bell on the market in just a moment and we'll see what the market rackets to this. reacts to this. ♪
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[ cows moo ] [ sizzling ] more rain... [ thunder rumbles ] ♪ [ malennouncer ] when the world mov... futures move first. learn futures from experienced pros with dedicated cts and daillive webinars. and trade with papermoney to test-drive the market. ♪ all on thinkorswim. from td ameritrade. >> we're seconds from the opening bell. let's see how the market reacts to the breaking news we delivered to you a few moments ago, which is speaker boehner will hold a vote in the house just on the tax side of the fiscal cliff deal. that's it. just the tax side. not an overarching deal, just the tax side. he will put it to a vote this week in the house.
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that's a back drop. where did the market open? slightly higher. before that breaking news when he it looked like an overall deal was possible, it still is. the dow was up 50 points and now that's trimmed a lot and we've opened with a gain around 10 points in the first half minute's worth of business and now we've got apple in the news because a judge has denied apple's request to stop samsung from selling smart phone and illegally used apple technology. the galaxy remains in the stores, so, apple stock, where does it open? >> would you think this would be a blow to apple and i guess a lot of folks weren't anticipating they weren't going to ban these from samsung and the stocks are a gain of 1%. pretty amazing, considering everything is-- this is a nail-biter, yesterday when we were looking at apple at 5:01. >> yes, that's right. that's a bounce, we were talking about this yesterday. would apple bounce, 499, 501 and
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the answer is yesterday, it did. i'm trying to dot ma the math. >> yesterday i was talking to people with technical analysis, 494 was north of a support point than 501. you saw people stepping in and buying it and rally into the holidays and looking good toe far. stuart: you've he got it. thanks indeed. the dow industrials 12 points higher now. remember the fuss from target employees about working on thanksgiving day. liston this, mcdonald's is now pressuring its franchisees to open on christmas day. it figured a lot of people travel on actual christmas day and night wamight want to stop coffee or whatever on the way to grandma's house and it's at 90 a share for mcdonald's this morning. we've been following the greek tragedy and the greek economic crisis for years now. talking about the government and
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meetings, bailouts. the greek tragedy has come to a head today in two respects. one, greece just received the latest watch of bailout money. 45 billion euros, roughly 50 billion dollars. item two, the personal side. only 3.7 million people in greece have jobs, out of 11 million people, that's 33%. compare that to america where 45% of the total population gets out of bed and goes to work. according to the wall street journal, in greece total economic activity is down 20% in the past four years. this is a country in financial ruin. the question, how can a country of 11 million repay a 1/2 trillion dollars worth of debt and it's hard to think they could ever recover. heart breaking for someone of greek heritage like our own nicole petallides, it's a dreadful siiuation. >> it is heart breaking and i was hoping, glad you didn't make me do it, trying to throw greece
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under the bus. the truth is the country is suffering greatly. and grandparents trying to support their sons, daughters, grandchildren all on one pension and many of europeans, they have a different mentality, in certain ways, retiring, off the government and that's not the greeks here in the states, willing to work 25 hours a day. and there's certainly a different mentality there, but they are suffering greatly. one gentleman, nobody talks, but the cemetery, very sad and solemn. stuart: that's a personal side % of the greek tragedy story. nicole. >> and wait, as for the big payback were you asking about, forget it, they're not paying it back. stuart: a half trillion dollar in debt cannot be repaid by 11 billion people no matter how long you stretch it out. thank you very much indeed. the dow is up. flat market open.
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and we've been telling you about the french tax refugee, gerard depardu, who's given up his card and moved over to belgium. the prime minister there calls depardu's departure pathetic, and nearly 70% of people support the act to flee. and joining us a senior fellow at george mason university. welcome to the program. >> thank you for having me. stuart: this poll on-line, a british newspaper, fair enough. it's an on-line poll. 70% of french people say that depardu is a hero. that amounts to an absolute tax revolution in a country like france, doesn't it? >> well, i think it's a big departure from french people, and overall population for sure. and a real tax revolt would be for them to kick, you know, the
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people who govern them and have been for all of these years out of power and actually truly market oriented. stuart: are you french? >> yes. you're speaking in terms of free markets in france. >> yeah, imagine that. stuart: wait a second, prime minister hollande, the prime minister for six months or something like that, the guy who instituted the 70% tax. >> he campaigned on it. stuart: and people voted him in. >> the irony, the 75% tax rate is called a patriot, you know-- which made me laugh because the french are everything, but patriotic. stuart: and you've got people like depardu leaving and people are saying he's a hero for leaving, and not paying the patriotic tax, that's a repudiation of the tax and repudiation of the socialists? >> it could be. remember, like he's not the first one to leave. so first left-- before that.
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>> and he went back after years and moved his-- he came back to the u.s. with his family and he's he not the only one, and the three wealthiest men in f out and these guys, now, they have he' left and they are their moving out wasn't seen as such heroic move. i think it was a lot of, kind, teeth grinding. so i think that depardieu, who whom this revolt is going to happen. i hope so so for france's sake. stuart: there's an argument in america at the moment raising the tax rate on upper income people and the argument, does it actually bringgin more money. what about france? they've got a much higher tax rate. 75%, is it going to bring in all of the money they thought it would go going to bring in? >> no, it's never going to. in fact, because people like gerard depardieu are productive and make the most money are
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going to, the idea that you start taxing like crazy people they're going to actually just give you their money, not budge, not change anything, is actually-- >> do you think that france will ever accept much less of a welfare state, real serious cuts in their entitlement programs? >> do they have a choice? no, they don't. will they accept it? >> i don't know, i think it's going to talk-- >> there would be riots, would there not? >> well, they have a tendency to go in the street. but i think we're far-- we're still a long way to go for people to kind of actually start understanding that if this is really the size of government that you want, you know, you have to pay for it. you're already paying for it and if you claim that you will never want any cuts in spending, well, then the government is going to continue happily to try to raise
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revenue, will it can or not. stuart: thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. stuart: new at ten, it's on its way, a california highway patrol officer paid nearly a half million dollars in total compensation and he's still working. we'll have more of the outrageous numbers from the public employee from the golden state the top of the hour. as we all the say, time is money and 30 seconds of what we're watching. would grover norquist approve the higher tax rate that speaker boehner okayed. they will he' vote on them this week and we'll get answers straight from grover on the program today. the dangers of smoking well-known to kids, how about chewing tobacco and dip? bigger increase of those kids using products and ask because of the 440 million dollar ad campaign? i'll tell you the story of a man
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who has flown 1 million miles this year commercial, all of this on united. e-mail us please varney@foxbusiness.com. 7 early movers this tuesday morning. boeing expects to buy back as much as 2 billion dollars worth of its own stock next year, raising dividend and not moving up the payment so shareholders may get the money under higher tax rates and the stock down a little. greenbriar brought for $20 a share and both companies make railroad cars and carl icahn has a stake in both and pushed for the merger. arbitron, radio ratings company bought by nielsen, the tv ratings company and paying $48 a share, so, arbitron is chose to 48 right now. in total, that's 1.3 billion dollars from nielsen, which also has a deal with twitter to come up with a new kind of tv rating based on what people are tweeting about. got it. steel dynamics says its customers are not buying as much steel because of political and
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economic uncertainty. up goes the stock just a little. star scientific. it will stop making and selling tobacco products, instead is focusing on dietary supplements and a product to actually help people stop smoking, no change in the stock. wal-mart, new york times article says that wal-mart used bribes to open 19 stores in mexico and wal-mart responds saying investigation into corruption at its mexican unit is ongoing, no conclusions have yet been made. the dow is up 19 as we said, a flat market. record gun sales over the weekend. following events on friday in connecticut. here is the question. is america's moves towards guns really fundamentally changing? we'll ask scott rasmussen next. [ male announcer ] at scottrade, we believe thmore you know, the better you trade.
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>> speaker boehner is in a meeting with republicans right now. we already broke the news this morning that he is a proposing a plan b. that would be a vote on the tax part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. when he comes out of the meeting that he's holding currently, we expect him to hold a short news conference and we will take that live when it happens. on the big board, not much reaction to the news that there is going to be a vote on the tax portion that we broke earlier this morning on the tax portion of the fiscal cliff deal. the dow is up just 16 points and everybody has waited to see exactly what will john boehner say a few minutes from now. some stores and gun shows sought record sales on saturday. i sense a shift in the stance of america on guns, i sense a shift in the public opinion at this moment. obviously in reaction to friday's shootings in connecticut and let's bring in
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scott rasmussen, pollster. he joins the company right now. scott, i believe that you are conducting polls at this moment on the issue of guns. and i know you don't have the results yet. but do you think i'm on to something here, that there's been a sea change in attitudes because of friday's events in connecticut. >> well, stuart, i can't really say anything until we have the numbers in. they'll be released tomorrow and we do some evidence from some earlier situations like the colorado movie, shootings, and the virginia tech shootings and unfortunately, we've had a chance to poll a number of these and when we talk about public opinion. people around the country's first reaction to something like this is to weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. i want to shed a tear and say a prayer and the next instinct, we've got to do something about this and find an explanation. unfortunately, sometimes there's no explanation for evil and final part after that, people look for early situations. in earlier situations say
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colorado shootings in the summer only 41% said that we need stricter gun control laws and perhaps the most stunning result then, is only 9% thought it was possible to really make public places safe from situations like this. is it possible that there's going to be a bounce in support for gun control? i think there is likely to be a modest bounce, but i don't expect it to be a sea change. but again, let's wait and see what the numbers are tomorrow. stuart: i'm just basing my opinion on what i think is the difference in this particular event. it was so horrific, 20 children, six and seven years old. there isn't a person in america that can relate to the horror of that situation. this event is different. we'll have a more profound effect? >> stuart, i think there is going to be a deficit search for something. you know, again, i'm blessed with two grown children, i can't
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imagine the horror, nobody can imagine the horror of the two families right now and i don't think we can try to ease that, just a horrific situation. when you talk with policies, i believe there is going to be a move to limit violence in movies and to limit violent video games and to put stricter limits on people with mental health problems and to put stricter gun control situations in. there will be a search for those things, where it leads and really, the question that can't be answered is how do you prevent these things and that's the frustration. >> scott rasmussen you've got the results of your poll tomorrow. i hope you can share them with us, it's very interesting material. thank you. here we go, the gold report. we do it every day at this time. we're just shy of $1700 an ounce and been at this level for several weeks now. crude oil moving up just a
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little. $87 a barrel. let's get the gas prices, a gallon of regular ten cents less than one week ago. we now have 3.23 is your national average and diesel 3.93. a story you couldn't make up if you tried. a woman in australia gets injured on a business trip and she was injjred while having sex. ♪ how do traders using technical analysis streamline their process? at fidelity, we do it by merging two tools into one. combining your customized char with leading-edge analysis tools from recognia so you can quickly spot key trends and possible entry and exit points. we like this idea so much that we've applied for a patent. i'm colin beck of fidelity investments.
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>> and now, a story from australia. i'm going to be careful how i describe it so use your imagination. a woman on a business trip, she got a hotel room provided by her employer, federal government. she had sex in that hotel room. during sex, a light was torn from the wall and hit her in the the face. she became depressed, unable to keep working. a court rules she's allowed to get workers' compensation for physical and psychological injuries because she was injured on a business trip. david, welcome back to the program. >> thank you very much. stuart: and it's a story and you're going to cover it for us. >> i love australia and a lot of
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people say i'm going to move to australia there's no political correctness. if it's australia political correctness is everywhere. they have a carbon tax. i assume what's starting in australia, workers' comp for something that's clearly not workmen's comp is coming here, if you expect some lawsuit to brought in u.s. court. stuart: she was injured on the job. >> what her job was and-- >> perhaps. [laughter] >> this is like sandra fluke on steroids, i mean, this is like, one thing to tell me i've got to pay for your contraception? i've got to pay for you getting busy, too? are you kidding me. i'm going to be broke. >> i never heard that, getting busy. stuart: she was on the job,
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working, travelling on a business room. charles: she was in the bedroom ripping down light fixtures. >> we've been told that viagra should be part after medical plan. stuart: if your employer provides the venue in which you're injured, the employer is football for the injury. >> your employer provides the stimulant, not only the recovery from your sexual activity, but stimulant in the form of viagra. charles: at some point, if you rip the light fixture off the wall, and hit you in the face, you had a good time. stuart: and next, the california highway patrol chief who retired with a six-figure pension and that's not the most outrageous number. there will be more and we have them for you new at 10. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 this morning, i'm going to trade in hong kong.
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tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 plus, i can talk to their global specialists 24/7. tdd#: 1-800-345-50 and ade in my global account commission-free tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 through march 20. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 bestart... no jet lag. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 call 1-866-294-5409 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and a global specialist tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 will help you get started today. stuart: new at 10:00, california highway patrol chief gets nearly a half million dollars in total compensation upon retirement. and he got $280,000 in unpaid second vacation pay. -- sick and vacation pay. this is one public worker in california, the formerly golden state and he's now working in the private sector while collecting his six figure pension. got that? first we get the latest read from the housing market. homebuilders sentiment, what will it show? the reading came in at 47, that
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is a higher reading than in november. so the last time we got the number. so homebuilder sentiment index goes up. we're going to discuss that in a moment. does it mean anything at all for the housing sector which is a bright spot in this economy? to the big board at the top of the hour, noo up 7 points. that's it. everybody waiting to see what john boehner says following his meeting with house republicans. here is our company, who will be discussing all of this, charles payne is here. david asman is here. nicole petallides is there on the floor of the new york stock exchange. some breaking news. it's just crossing. we have the latest reading on the homebuilders sentiment. we got a number for you. it is 47. that's a sentiment indicator. it's up for the 8th straight month. i think that that suggests still housing is a bright spot in the economy. you agree with me? david: specifically with homebuilders because there have been so -- that sector had been so hardly hit by what we've been going through over the past five
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years, the number of home contractors has decreased from something like 1.4 million down to about 600,000 right now. so there is tremendous room for new home building, and there is supply and demand issue there. charles: oh,
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david: a lot of people don't want to go out on a limb, they want to look for safer, there's no return now on government bonds or corporate bonds so you have to buy real estate. stuart: you agree with me as well? charles: no, i like individual stocks. david: we are not all as smart as you. that's the problem. [laughter] stuart: boehner is in a meeting with republican house members at the moment. he's proposing a plan b, that would be a vote on just the tax side of the fiscal cliff negotiations. he's proposing to put that tax plan, just the tax side of it to a vote in the house. and then turn around and tell the president, look, this is what my house members will agree to. there's the vote. what are you going to do now, mr. president? that would be a strategic --
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essentially that would be a more -- yeah, strategic and political development. i belief just filing into that -- i believe just filing into that room now where speaker boehner will hold a news conference just detailing what happened in his meeting with house republicans. as he starts to speak, we will take you there. it may well move the market, which right now is up 9 points on the dow industrials. david: by the way, can i just say, it already has, because the futures were up 100 points. the market has come down. at first there was talk of deal. then we had comments from senators saying no, there's no deal, we're still far apart. stuart: that's true. the market looked at the likelihood of a deal. david: because of the washington post article that said a deal was likely. stuart: at first they thought yeah a deal is likely. then you got more detail about the two sides and where they are. david: cold water was poured on the whole idea and look what happened to the market. charles: they are moving now. they are throwing numbers out
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there. it is part of the negotiation process. stuart: as news develops about taxes, higher tax tax rates are coming. that does not sit well with grover norquist. he will tell us all about his position 10:35 this morning, he is on this program. let's go to nicole. i want to check in with apple. where are they? 4 minutes past 10:00 eastern time. nicole: apple is doing great today. yesterday we talked about the fact it was at 501. it's traded as high as 526 and change. they are head-to-head with samsung here in the states and abroad. i was reading some headlines, samsung, injunction against the apple in eu, but at the same time a judge decided against apple today. there's back and forth between the companies. when you look at technicals, it is a winner. one thought on housing, the mentality of people, is it an investment, a good investment? it is great for people who are naturally spenders because if
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you buy a house and you have extra cash and you know you have to pay the mortgage, you're going to pay the mortgage, versus pend it frivolously on things like starbucks. stuart: what is cheap and easy to finance? answer, real estate. you buy into bonds, some people think it is a bubble situation. you buy into stocks, the dow at 13,000. but a house, i think it is a pretty good investment at this point, probably the bet investment vehicles. i have had my say. thank you very much, nicole. dow is up 5, dead flat. california highway patrol division chief retired last year, making nearly a half million dollars in salary pension and other compensation. this made him the best paid police officer in the 12 most populist states in the country. he collected more than a quarter million dollars for unused sick
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and vacation time. he now receives an annual pension, more than $170,000 per year. joining us now is from front line strategies. mark, this is one officer, but it's an example of how the formerly golden state, you know, you cannot afford this, can you? >> no, no not at all, especially when you look at just in the highway patrol alone, you have 44 officers making over $200,000 a year. more than five tiies the rest of the country combined from that statistic. 5,000 that are making more than 110 k. that's just the tip of the iceberg. if you want to make the big money, you go to california prisons where we've got people who are sitting on accumulated time where we had a woman who retired at the age of 79 with $770,000 payout and 72 weeks of accumulated vacation time. it's unbelievable. stuart: that's a pension explosion that's going to happen because california has not dealt with its public employee pensions, has it?
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>> well, they've done a little bit for the new employees. jerry brown, our governor, has at least made some small steps forward there, but those are effects that will not be seen for the next 15, 20 years. meanwhile you not only have the accumulated vacation time, you have sick time, you have got pension benefits for many folks that will end up being literally hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. stuart: repeat that statistic, please. did you say 5,000 police officers make 100 grand or more? that's what you said? 5,000? >> yes, these are highway patrol officers here in california. this is all -- stuart: but that's going to be used as the baseline for pensions that will be paid in the future. >> the baseline is being used based on their accumulated the pay plus their annual last salary. so you know, that's where a lot of these figures get jacked up. this goes back to 99 when davis in the midst of a very contentious budget negotiations with california's public unions
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said okay i'm going to give you pension benefits retroactive for all present and past employees. then of course you had cities and counties who followed suit. that's why places like vallejo and stockton and san bernardino are filing for bankruptcy. stuart: i put it to everyone around this table, it's very difficult to get out of this because that is a promise made. we promised you, police officers, prison guards, everyone else, we promised you this. it is in your contract. we made a promise. in some states it is in the state constitution. but we made a promise. how do you get out of a promise? david: ask president obama that when he was dealing with the gm bondholders. remember those promises that were made to the gm bond holders, the secured bondholders where they rescinded their deals in order to carry ahead with the bailout of the auto companies. it has happened before, but i would say it's got to be focused on the contracts being made now for future contracts.
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california is going to have to eat a lot of these bad contracts. stuart: mark, as they eat these contracts, and david is right, they have to pay them, that means you have got to make cuts to younger workforce members, they're going to be out, and the services delivered to the public are also going to be cut to the bone because you've got to keep paying your retirees. >> well, and of course it affects education because, you know, we have, you know, 40% of our state budget has to go to education. we have essential services that obviously are going to be cut because of these pension obligations. the interesting thing about all these promises, stuart is back in 99, calpers, which is our enormous state pension plan system here, convinced the legislature that this deal was going to be a good one, because they actually predicted back then that by the year 2009, the dow would hit 25,000 and even better than that that they predicted with their model that by the year 2099 the dow would hit 28 million. that's 28 million. that's where all these pie in
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the sky promises come from. and unfortunately, the taxpayers are on the hook for it right now. stuart: you've got us with that one, mark, 28 million, very interesting. all right, mark, we always want you to keep us up-to-date on the finances of the formerly golden state. thank you very much indeed. >> happy to help. charles: you thought a house was a good investment. listen, i think that's what the bankruptcy promise is all about, breaking those promises. -- bankruptcy process is all about, breaking those promises. stuart: that's it. you could see that happen in bankruptcy courts for cities and towns. we have dick's sporting goods saying it will remove all guns from its stores near newtown, connecticut, and it is suspending sales of certain types of semiautomatic rifles from its stores all across the country. nicole, where are the shares of dick's? nicole: the nation is in mourning and this is dick's obviously showing some respect to the folks over in newtown, connecticut. the stock is up 1.5%. as you noted they said that at this time they are going to
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remove all semiautomatic rifles from the chains nationwide. they are better known as modern sporting rifles. there were some reports that this morning if you went on the website, you would get a blank page. questionable how long they will continue to hold off sales on this particular type of weapon, but obviously all of this in response to what we saw in connecticut. stuart: yes, it is, nicole. all right, company, we got reports this morning from all across the country, colorado, ohio, of record applications for guns on saturday, the very day after this awful event in connecticut. i'm reporting this as a fact. it reflects very interestingly on the gun market. charles: let's be honest. we know coming into -- even before this massacre, that a lot of people felt that the 2nd amendment would be under attack in a second obama administration. and obviously, you know, it's -- listen, everyone i think -- most people i think understand, you know, when you start talking about assault rifles and obviously the mental health
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aspect, but i think there's some legitimate suspicion about that being used as a springboard into ultimately taking away just regular hand guns that ordinary people have for their own safety. i think it is a legitimate concern. i think obama is from the camp that doesn't like people having guns at all, any type of gun. there's a legitimate nervousness there. it exists. david: he had two years when there was a democratic house and democratic senate that he could have renewed the automatic weapons ban which expired in 2004. he didn't do it. stuart: i keep going back to the thing that that event in connecticut was so horrific and to such a deeply personal way that it will be a catalyst for action of some kind, not necessarily action which will be successful in getting these guns out, but action of some kind. charles: any politician, i mean, you thought that grover norquist thing was under a lot of pressure, anyone who signed that has been under significant pressure, but anyone who says that they are not for banning
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assault weapons is in a lot of problems as is a politician. david: again, we tried it. we had a ten year experiment with it. it didn't really significantly change. in fact, some people argue that gun violence went up with the automatic weapons ban. going to be a lot of debate on this. stuart: maybe it is all new now. we shall see. any minute now we're expecting speaker boehner to speak following his meeting with republicans. we already broke the news this morning that he is proposing a plan b, that would be a vote on just the tax side of the fiscal cliff negotiations. i believe that speaker boehner is about to appear. as soon as he appears in front of that podium that you can see there, we will bring him to you and you will hear exactly what he's got to say. i suspect that the market is waiting eagerly, what is he going to say? could he sell the big picture overall deal to the republicans in the house, or is he going with plan b, just going with taxes and a strategic move? i think it's a big deal for the market. david? david: by the way, the washington post describes the
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president's position as follows, and i'm quoting, obama laid out a counteroffer that included significant concessionings on taxes. -- concessions on taxes. this is the president that doubled the amount of tax revenue that he was requiring from republicans and now he's seen as the concessionary. stuart: $250,000 to $400,000. david: still 1.2 trillion dollars taken out of the private economy to fund a growing government economy. stuart: on the spending side, the president did not propose any significant cut in social security just trimming it by a different cost of living adjustment. no significant move on medicare, wrapts to keep the -- wants to keep the eligibility and still at 65. no debt ceiling debate for two years. that's a blank check on spending. another 50 billion on infrastructure. so to me it doesn't balance out. this subpoena no spending cuts -- this is no spending cuts of any significanne and a lot of tax increase.
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charles: it's carte blanche for the president. boehner has already told the president this will prove you are putting me in an untenable position, i cannot negotiate this. the clock is ticking. we put it to a vote. come up with something real. the debt ceiling, therl not going to include -- they are not going to include, i don't think. david: it really annoys me when i hear pundits say the president won the election, he should get the tax increase. a little thing called the constitution says all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, not in the white house, the house of representatives. they had an election in november as well, and the republicans won. that's where the constitution says all tax increases should originate, with the house, so it's boehner's ball, it is not the president's. stuart: that's why john boehner is going to hold a vote on taxes revenue raising in the house at some point this week if he goes through with plan b. charles: i will say this and almost everyone agrees that this
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particular point putting something together on spending that's truly comprehensive, the time line is such that we will end up something akin to a framework, in other words, sort of agreement, you know, the tax revenue is going to happen. we get the agreement, and they will push it through, and they will fill in the framework over the next few months. stuart: let me work through for a second. 13 days to go till january 1st. john boehner is appearing right now. let's listen in. >> good morning, everyone. our hope continues to be to reach an agreement with the president on a balanced approach that averts the fiscal cliff. what we've offered meets the definition of balance, but the president is not there yet. the white house offered yesterday was essentially at 17. -- at 1.3 trillion dollars in new revenues for only 850 billion dollars in net spending reductions. that's not balanced in my
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opinion. so at the same time, we're going to continue to talk with the president. we're also going to move plan b. i think we all know that every income tax filer in america is going to pay higher rates come january the 1st unless congress acts. so i believe it's important that we protect as many american taxpayers as we can. and our plan b would protect american taxpayers who make a million dollars or less and have all of their current rates extended. i continue to have hope that we can reach a broader agreement with the white house that would reduce spending as well as revenues on the table. i think it would be better for our country, but at this point, having a back-up plan to make sure that as few american taxpayers are affected by this increase as possible, moving down that path is the right course of action for us. >> good morning.
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first of all, i would like to say that i think all of our hearts and prayers are with the families in newtown, connecticut. stuart: what we've just heard with speaker john boehner, making a very brief announcement that he is indeed going to plan b. okay? plan b is this: put to a vote son the floor of the house -- on the floor of the house, just the tax side of john boehner's proposal in the overall fiscal cliff negotiations. the tax side would be this, this is what they will vote on, we will vote yes or no on keeping tax rates unchanged for everyone under a million dollars al year. we will vote on is a higher tax rate for everyone making a million dollars or more. that would be the vote that takes place in the house of representatives under plan b from john boehner. i'm looking at the markets. since he announced that, the dow has gone from a plus 7 to a plus 15. so so far we have not seen any
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serious market reaction. please bear in mind that john boehner -- it was a very brief statement. he said the president had not offered a balanced negotiating position. president and speaker boehner far apart on the issues of taxes and spending. have i read this correctly? charles: essentially he's taken the president's talking points, not to tax 98% of americans, let's push that through and take care of everything later. he's taken that and says 250,000 is way too low, not rich, you are hurting small businesses. at the very least, let's move it to a million. proving your point it is common sense not to hurt the masses while we hammer out the details. david: what happens to cap gains and dividends? we simply don't know. will they raise taxes on everybody above a million for cap gains and dividends? that could affect the market. stuart: can i conclude that speaker boehner goes to plan b, and he says he's going to plan b, that that puts off an overall broad-based deal with the president for some more days
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because they are obviously not there yet and we have 13 days to the fiscal cliff. david: remember the president's first proposal on raising taxes, it was a number of republicans including mitch mcconnell actually laughed at it, it was so ridiculous, everybody starting at different levels. then the president brought up the threshold from 250 to 400,000. now it's a million. i suspect it will be somewhere between 400 and a million. stuart: is there time? charles: with the framework that promises they will fill in the rest in a certain given time. -pthis is like step 87 of a one two process that's been going on and on. listen, we will do this and take care of the rest a few weeks down the road. stuart: answer me this one. couple of minutes before we have to take a break. but answer me this, what does john boehner get out of putting to a vote in the house just the tax side? what does he get out of plan b? david: he has two problems right now dealing with the president and dealing with the republicans in congress. remember he did all that
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negotiating, removing some of the tea party republicans from key positions in the house. correctly. he wants to keep his long-term job as house speaker and part of that is in these negotiations as well. stuart: so sometime this week a vote in the house on the tax side. that's it. that's not much progress, is it? charles: listen, republicans were willing to raise taxes, and that's something that -- that's a major shift. david: putting something on the table. stuart: okay. let's wrap it up. plan b goes into effect this week from speaker boehner, got it. shifting topics, significant shift in topics. how about this, one man 1 million miles of air travel this year alone and he's loving it. that's a change of topic, is it not? i will discuss it in a moment. ♪
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stuart: now speaker boehner is taking questions. let's listen in. he's proposed going to plan b, voting on the tax side of his proposals in the house. let's listen in. >> -- sequestration, the cuts that will happen automatically, unemployment benefits going away, would you incorporate any
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of that into this plan b legislation? >> we're going to continue to look at how we would address those issues, as we put this bill together that we would expect to be on the floor later this week. but dealing with the issue of the alternative minimum tax, dealing with the death tax, could likely be part of the bill that we would bring to the floor. we would not deal with the sequestering. >> how close would you say the president's plan is to being balanced? can you get an agreement between the next 24, 48 hours? >> i have made it clear to the president that i would put a trillion dollars of revenue on the table if you were willing to put a trillion dollars of spending reductions on the table. that at this point would be my version of a balanced approach. as he called for it. andrew, last one. >> mr. speaker, how adamant are
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you that the medicare eligibility and needs to be part of this? there are a lot of people thinks that's just an arbitrary cut and other segments of the economy would have to take that even if you did it? >> there are a lot of issues on the table. that issue has been off the table, back on the table. it is an issue for discussion. i don't believe it's an issue that has to be dealt with between now and the end of the year. it is an issue if congress were to do entitlement reform next year and tax reform as we envision, if there's an agreement, that issue will certainly be open to debate in that context. thanks. stuart: that was speaker john boehner. he had just announced that he's going to plan b. plan b is this: he will assemble a bill and put it to the house for a vote. that bill will suggest keeping tax raaes, current tax rates unchanged for people making less than a million dollars a year. that will be voted on sometime this week. whether or not the alternative
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minimum tax capital gains tax rates, whether they are included in this bill, not known at this point. grover norquist from america for tax reform is joining us now. and grover, i'm sure you have heard exactly -- the same thing we have heard, plan b on the table, what do you make of this? >> well, what it tells you is that the white house has refused to put any serious spending restraint on the table. this is not news. for the last two years, the white house has gone into meetings pretending to be willing to reform entitlements or reduce spending, and all they ever want to talk about is tax increases. so this is more of the same from the white house. it is probably wise for the house to move on its own. stuart: grover, can we conclude that the meeting john boehner just held with house republicans, he couldn't sell it, there was a revolt by the republicans, and that's the result, plan b is the result? are the house republicans in revolt? >> no, we don't even have a
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balanced approach from the white house. the white house has not decided to participate in these negotiations in a serious way yet. plan b is there to try and get the president to agree to some savings. now, there are two other opportunities to force savings. one is the continuing resolution that early in the spring that the budget runs out because the democrats in the senate don't pass budgets anymore for the last three or four years. they just continuing resolutions. so the house can say no more spending, then x, and they can give the president enough money to spend for two weeks or a month or three weeks at a time, just as they did in 2010. that's where the republicans have leverage on spending. the other place they have some leverage on spending, which they don't have right now, as you see the president's not being serious about spending restraint, in the fiscal cliff negotiations. the other one is the debt ceiling increase. that's where we force 2 1/2 trillion in spending restraint
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the last time we did this, those are the two tools, levers, weapons, that republicans have, that's where the fight on spending will actually be, because the president's not participating now. stuart: okay. you oppose any increase in tax rates. house republicans will vote this week on raising the tax rate on people making more than a million dollars a year. do you think they will vote for that? >> well, i think they will vote for it because the actual vote there is to stop a tax increase on many, many people. this is not the end of fighting to extend all of these tax increases. that fight goes on for the next several months. we could either take some of that tax increase off the table and fight on the rest or you could fight on the twhoel thing. -- on the whole thing. i'm for the strategy that saves the largest amount of tax increase and hopefully all of it. remember, we still have the debt ceiling to go to the president
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with as many times as we want in the next four years. stuart: can i just conclude with this? it doesn't seem to me that the republicans have caved. you say? >> they haven't caved because first of all, we don't have an agreement with the white house. they are coming up with a second strategy. the goal is always continue all the bush tax cuts and spend less. we're dealing with a president who doesn't want to continue the bush tax cuts and wants to spend more. so there's going to be back and forth. the republicans heavy artillery doesn't show up until the continued resolutions is necessary and the debt ceiling is necessary. don't think this is a fight on january 1st. it will go on for four years. stuart: thank you very much indeed grover. we always appreciate you being us. charles: i don't know why grover thinks the republicans have more leverage with the cr and the debt ceiling. in other words they are going to tell the american public that we
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will stop paying bills if the government doesn't do what he needs to do. stuart: grover, you heard charles, go. >> no, it is just the opposite. we went through this two years ago, got a lot of savings through the continued resolution and a lot of savings in the debt ceiling, it was the president who was threatening to close down the government or default. the republicans got re-elected in the house of representatives with that plan. it is the president with this mandate of wanting 1.6 trillion dollars in tax increase and another solyndra stimulus package? this was not mentioned in the campaign. he can't argue the american people voted for that. stuart: grover norquist, good stuff, thank you very much. very little move on the markets from this, the dow is up 7 when we heard about plan b, now it is that's not a big move. let's bring in scott shellidy at
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the cme. you have been hearing the backwards and forwards. it seems like plan b will be voted on, just the tax portion of boehner's proposal. why isn't it affecting the markets more? >> i think the guys down here have been talking about it this morning. we would like to see plan c. and plan c is two words, term limits. okay? we want term limits. you know, what we have got going on right now i think is a pretty big farce. i don't think the republicans have given up anything and neither have the democrats. like norquist said this is going to be a four-year ordeal. stuart: if thiey are still far apart, really are far apart, why is the dow up at all? no deal would surely mean the dow goes straight down, doesn't it? >> well i think in the short-term you will see that happen, once that comes out, and that's the case. ultimately there's going to be a deal. i don't think anybody can kid each other. there will be a deal however bad it will be in the short-term. that's what the markets are betting on.
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look, these people aren't suicidal, they will get something done, they want to get re-elected. it is not about the country anymore. they want to get re-elected. that's what the guys are thinking behind me. small drift in the markets, we have a drift in the markets a lot of times this time of year. stuart: yes we do. scott shellady, thank you very much. >> all right. stuart: more varney & company after this. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the mercedes-benz winter event is back, with the perfect vehicle that's just right for you, no matter which list you're on. [ santa ] ho, ho, ho, ho! [ male announcer ] lease a 2013 c250 for $349 a month at your local
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stuart: hillary clinton will not testify this week at congressional hearings about benghazi. she fainted, hit her head on the floor and suffered a concussion. she's recovering, but she says she's not well enough to testify and she is stepping down early next year. congress will not be able to get her story until after she is no longer secretary of state. joining us now ambassador john bolton. your take on this is? >> well, i wish her the best. obviously a concussion is not a good thing at any age, but, you know, there is a phrase in international circles called a diplomatic illness that arises when something comes up you don't want to do. secretary clinton will miss this testimony on thursday, and she was also faced with a gruelling week, according to susan rice
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after the september 11 attacks when she couldn't go on the sunday morning talk shows. she's done a very good job of keeping herself out of the spotlight of explaining what actually happened at benghazi for months now. stuart: and yet i see no public outrage about what happened in benghazi or the lack of answers from the administration about what happened or secretary clinton's inability to appear and answer questions. there is no outrage on this. >> no, and i think the signal that it sends in the middle east and elsewhere that four american diplomats have been killed and no visible sign of retaliation and endangers many people. the secretary also artfully avoided 2 1/2 months of talking while the state department interim review board -- internal review board did its work. that report is ready. i think she was prepared to testify on thursday because they would lay out the story, so she would only have to have one story herself avoiding the inconvenience of saying something early and then having to adjust it later when the
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facts turned out differently. now she's postponed it even further. presidents have gruelling weeks all the time. stuart: do you think we will ever get to the bottom of precisely what happened and who takes any responsibility for it at all? >> well, it won't be because of the administration. it won't be because of the mainstream media. i think congress has got to take the lead here. the house still in republican control. not for political purposes. our diplomats, our official personnel all around the world are in danger and so are private american citizens. stuart: let me get to the subject of greece, they got the latest bailout money. it takes their total debt to half trillion u.s. dollars for population of 11 million. i maintain that is fundamentally unpayable and greece cannot recover its former prosperity period. >> i think the markets are completely misreading what has happened in the euro zone in the past six months or so since
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draghi said he would do whatever it took to save the ecb and the euro. you can shuffle the financial obligations around all you want without economic growth, they will never get out of it. i think there are other intentions coming within the eu itself, the role of britain, role of all members that are not part of the euro zone that could be an additional factor why the european union in a few years i think will look very different from what it looks like now. david: gdp is an oxymoron, most greeks are not working; right? stuart: in america 45% of the total population has a job and works. as you look around the world, you don't see any bright spots, do you? >> well, i try and bring sweetness and light wherever i go, but sometimes it's hard. stuart: there ain't much out there that's really positive. i mean in an economic sense. >> i think part of our problem is that for four years the president just hasn't wanted to talk about these challenges and
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difficulties that we and others face overseas. that doesn't mean they go away. it simply means we're less prepared when they spring up. stuart: the last election was not fought on foreign policy or the economy. david: can't hillary when she leaves her job as secretarr of state, she could be brought back to testify the way petraeus was? >> absolutely. she's just postponing it. not avoiding it. >> ambassador bolton thank you very much. tobacco companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to market and advertise smokeless tobacco, hundreds of millions every year. chewing tobacco use among high school students is rising. find out why next. ast, long lai, use doctor recommended gaviscon®. only gaviscon® forms a protective barrier that lps block stomach acid from splashing up- relieving the pain quickly. try fast, long lasting gaviscon®.
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stuart: we now have a 50 point gain for the dow industrials, let's be precise, 53 points higher. speaker boehner is going to put out plan b. it would keep taxes from going up on people earning less than a million dollars a year. that would be voted on in the house at some point this week. it really kicks the can down the road. the market seems to be okay with it. up 50. check out this stock, it has a drug to treat what is called non-24 disorder, it affects blind people who have trouble sleeping because their body
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clocks can't ttll when it is night. it's rare, but the drug could help those people. that helps the stock. it's up 23%. all right everyone, back in 90 seconds with all kinds of material other than that the fiscal cliff.
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stuart: interesting developments of facebook today, a little controversy i believe. nicole sort it all out for us. nicole: this is a lot of controversy. the stock is higher today, up 1 1/4%. but facebook, their app that
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they purchased, instagram, facebook is getting tough -- granted they have the rules, you must be 13. there's all kinds of rules. act responsibly. but here's the part that's making people crazy today, stuart. facebook, which will begin advertising on the site, says all the user up loaded content from instagram is fair game for advertising. that's facebook basically saying all your pictures on instagram, they belong to us and we can use any of them in any way we want. stuart: okay. so all the photographs that you up load using instagram, instagram is owned by facebook, facebook can use them. they can use the pictures. they own the pictures. they can advertise with those pictures, really? they are saying that? and the stock is up? i'm surprised. nicole: i mean, people must be outraged because this has become wildly popular instagram has been growing exponentially. stuart: that looks to me like a
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pr bad move. charles: wall street wants them to find a way to make money. wall street and main street's agenda are two different things. stuart: you are right. charles: i think younger people just don't even grasp that particular concept of ownership. they just want their 15 seconds of fame. they put it out there. hey, look at me in the santa outfit with a hat. david: i've got two words for facebook, my space. stuart: that hurts. all right, tobacco companies no longer able to advertise cigarettes, got that, but there is no such restriction on smokeless tobacco. according to the l.a. times, tobacco companies spent 440 million dollars -- 444 million dollars just marketing smokeless tobacco in 2010. one year, 444 million, one area of the tobacco business. -papparently it is working. there are reports of increased use of smokeless tobacco among teenagers. and smokeless tobacco sales were
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2.7 billion dollars in 2010. joining us now, laura reece of reece and reece. laura, that is a -- first of all, i am astonished that any industry would spend 440 million dollars in one year just on smokeless tobacco. does that number not astonish you? >> it has astonished. and what's even more astonishing is that doubled in the last decade. but still remember, cigarettes are spending 8 billion dollars a year doing advertising and more importantly promotion. you know what those dollars are going to? making the product cheaper for people. they're pouring money into it so people have -- can spend less money and that's not helping. stuart: wait a second, laurie. you have to explain yourself. i have never seen a cigarette ad in a newspaper, magazine or television. i've just not seen those ads. you're telling me that they -- define it. they spent 8 billion on cigarette advertising? you have to tell me about this.
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how? >> okay, well, first of all, for 40 years, there's been absolutely a ban on television and radio advertising, but they are still allowed to do outdoor advertising, magazine advertising. they are spending enormous amounts on free samples, couponing. in smokeless, it is double the amount they are spending in putting up their names in bars and other adult restaurants, clubs, etc. there's a ton of money, point of sale, have you gone to get gas? you walk into those stores, you can't look anywhere without seeing cigarette promotional items. they are going around this, and the marketing dollars out this, you know what? it's working and they are cobbing up with new products. they have increased sales from 8 million to almost 90 million. -- they are coming up with new products. they spent 100 million dollars advertising this stuff and people are buying it. it is terrifying and there's an easy solution, like you say, ban the marketing, ban the
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advertising. don't let them give price reduc. two for one discounts? coupons? free samples? it is a tragedy. stuart: hold on a second, using smokeless tobacco, i mean chewing tobacco, that's not as dangerous as lighting it up and putting the smoke in your lungs, is it? or is it? i don't know. >> from what i've read, i'm not a doctor, they do say that smokeless chew as many people call it is just as dangerous. it's psychological, though, and that's a very good point. people think that because that smoke from the cigarette smells and you cough, that that's what's really giving you the cancer, and if there's no smoke, there's no cancer; right? well the research doesn't quite say that. it says that it's just as dangerous and these new products are making it easier for teenagers to take the stuff in class. they have these little
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containers that are like tic-tacs. you can put it in your mouth anywhere and consume the stuff. it is making it easier. that's why you are seeing a sharp rise of smokeless products in california. california has done a very good job of banning the smoke. it is the second lowest state in terms of smoking, but the smokeless is on the rise. it shows they are not stopping the nicotine consumption. they're just changing it from smoking to smokeless. stuart: fascinating. laura reis, thank you very much for joining us. that is interesting. >> thank you. stuart: would you believe 440 million smokeless tobacco -- charles: they spent a lot of money developing those products. they are innovative products they've come out with in the last five years. they spent a lot of money with innovation. i tried chewing tobacco once, i was in the air force, it took me two weeks to go through a whole container. that's what the kids start off with. you could tell i'm a city boy.
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david: all kinds of tobacco products. stuart: i'm astonished by that huge amount of advertising. one man logs 1 million miles of air travel in one year. he loves it. my take on that is next. he loves risk. but whether he's climbing everest, scuba diving the eat barrier reef with sharks, or jumping into the marke he goes with people he trusts, which is why he trades with a company that doesn't nickel and dime him with hidden fees. so he can worry about other things, like what the market is doing nd being ready, no matter what happens, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense, from td ameritrade.
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stuart: you know, you hear a lot
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of complaints about flying. bad food, no food, pay extra for everything, delays, high prices, okay, we got it all. flying ain't what it used to be. but let me introduce you to someone who loves it, indeed he spends his life at 30,000 feet. here's my take on him. he's a consultant. he visits car dealerships and tells them how to shape up, incredibly doing his job, he has flown 1 million miles this year alone. and he only flew on one airline, united. he's 59 years old. he weighs 250 pounds. he says he should be 50 pounds lighter but all that first class food is a big temptation he says. he spent more time sleeping on a plane than in hotel rooms. red eyes on trips to europe and australia are his specialty. he even flies long distance for pleasure. he's going to brazil for just two days with his wife next year. but he is not the world champion. the world champion commercial flyer, that title belongs to
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fred finn, a brit who is 70 years old and has flown a grand total of 15 million miles. >> announceryou never know when, but thieves can steal your identity and turn your life upside down. >> hi. >> hi. u know, i can save you 15% today if you open up a charge card accot with us. >> you just read my mind. >> announcer: just one little piece of information and they can open bogus accounts, stealing your credit, your money and ruining your reputation. that's why you need lifelock
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